Which Countries Have Banned Smoking in Public?

There are many countries in the world that have banned smoking in public places, including India, Ireland, Bhutan, Australia and France. Many other countries in the European Union have also banned some or all indoor public smoking, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Finland.

On Dec. 17, 2004, Bhutan became the first country in the world to officially outlaw tobacco entirely. It is not only illegal to smoke in public in Bhutan, but the sale of tobacco products is also forbidden. Anyone caught breaking these laws is subject to a fine.

Shortly before Bhutan passed its comprehensive tobacco law, Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in the workplace earlier in 2004. In 2005 Italy issued a law banning smoking in all indoor public places, while India technically outlawed public smoking in 2003, although the laws weren't formalized and enforced until 2008. However, Time Magazine notes that the ban in India is poorly enforced and smoking violations are quite common, as of 2014.

Part of the reason behind many of the smoking bans is the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, or FCTC. Considered the world's first public health treaty, the FCTC has been ratified by more than 170 countries, including all European Union member states. However, many countries that have signed the treaty have failed to enact comprehensive bans on public smoking.